Course specification and structure
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UDTHTREF - BA (Hons) Theatre and Film (Top-Up)

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards
Total credits for course 120
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Subject Area Art
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS 2 YEARS
Part-time 2 YEARS 4 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

This course is designed to provide an interdisciplinary path across programmes in Theatre and Performance Practice and in Film and Television Studies. Students are able to benefit from subjects in both programmes, exploring the languages of theatre and film through both practical and theoretical approaches. These approaches include studio-based workshops in theatre making, performance and film production, as well as classroom-based lectures and seminars in theatre and film criticism, cultural theories and script writing.

The learning methods encouraged are experiential as well as analytical and conceptual and are aimed at producing autonomous learners who are confident in the knowledge and understanding they have developed. Additionally, learning approaches include experiences with partnering companies in the professional industry. All modules are delivered with a blended learning focus, integrating the use of theatre and filming facilities (e.g. fully equipped theatre and filming spaces, editing suites), lecture and seminar spaces; they will also have access to School IT suites and a wide range of software that will support their personal and educational development.

In development of this course, consideration has been given to the following: the Subject Benchmark Statements, (Dance, Drama and Performance and Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies) the Higher Education Qualification Framework, the University’s Strategic Plan and Student Charter, the University’s Academic Regulations, the views and feedback of students, external examiners and employers/clients, developments within the subject area, and the changing needs of the cultural/commercial sectors and professions. Due consideration has also been given to inclusivity in course and assessment design.
Embedded in the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, the course draws on the strengths of teaching staff from across the School and the wide circle of academic and cultural contacts and collaborators attached to the School and University.
The course seeks to provide and foster:
• learning through direct experience, connecting academic and creative studies;
• student choice in subject and style of learning;
• a culture of independent and critical thought, encouraging the challenging of received ideas and practice;
• employability attributes, through live projects engaging with professional artists, external partners, art institutions and art organisations that create a realistic environment of professional expectations for art students, preparing them for graduate-level employment;
• engagement across the School and University, providing opportunities for collaborative
project work during study;
• individualised learning and study support opportunities, that cater for different learning styles;
• awareness of the duty of all to understand the impact of their decisions and actions as artists and to strive to act responsibly.
Lectures provide and encourage a critically informed view of a topic, contextualising the subject and illustrating applied approaches. Lectures provide students with a managed introduction to a theme, enabling them to continue with suggested or directed self-study.
Seminars enable students to debate and explore subjects, questions and assignments with peers and tutors, encouraging an open and collaborative approach to shared learning.
Tutorials support individual learning, allowing for individual approaches to study, and catering for individual interests. Tutorials can be diagnostic or can support specific assignment or project-related questions and support differing student paths to achievement of learning outcomes.
Study trips offer opportunities for vital direct experience with theatre and film in-situ, and to communicate with and learn from experts and specialists at theatre and film institutions and organisations.
Live briefings and feedback are an important aspect of work-related learning, exposing theatre and film students to experience of professional ways of working, of professional expectations of standards, and of the most current professional practice.
Group critiques allow students to benefit from feedback on their own and others’ work, to contribute to that feedback, and are a valuable part of the peer-to-peer learning that is a core expectation and reason for University study.
Workshops offer students opportunities to engage in creative practice via making. Opportunities will be available to students to undertake workshop and studio practice relevant to their assignments or collaborative projects. The objective is to apply knowledge and acquire technical competence, to think critically and creatively, to master technique and develop the capacity to work independently and within teams.
Blended learning uses the University’s virtual learning environment to support and reinforce reflective learning, to monitor progress through assignments, to foster peer-to-peer communication and collaborative research activity and to facilitate tutorial support for students and flexible approaches to learning.
Digital literacy is embedded in the curriculum via the use of the University's virtual learning environment and in curriculum delivery and expectations of digital capabilities as appropriate to task set and the level of study. Students make use of digital platforms alongside traditional approaches to research, develop and communicate their projects.
The teaching team includes professional practitioners, performance makers, film makers, writers and curators. Theatre and film sector links provide students with a clear understanding of future employment opportunities.
Students will have open access to dedicated spaces and under supervision will have access to theatre, film and lighting technologies. They will also have access to School IT suites and a wide range of software that will support their personal and educational development. Festival Showcase takes place off site in a London venue.
Connectivity within the University is essential to the degree. The course requires strong and consistent use of the Library and Learning Centre, which has a subject-specific librarian offering workshops and one-to-one assistance with printed and online academic material. The Learning Centre offers private study space as well as academic material. Other study and conversation spaces are available (location lectures, seminars and tutors’ offices), and students are expected to collaborate with each other regarding seminar topics, group or joint presentations, preparation of peer feedback, and networking (supported by subject staff) across undergraduate study years and disciplines.

Course aims

The BA Theatre and Film course aims are all aligned with the qualification descriptors in the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

The course aims to:

1. promote interdisciplinary explorations in the areas of theatre and film, drawing on an extensive range of subjects;

2. explore such areas both as distinctive fields and as complementary languages, envisioning innovative approaches in combining the two;

3. explore key skills in the practice of theatre and film making, including performing, directing, writing, editing and producing;

4. Develop artistic competences and awarenesses, through practice in interdisciplinary work;

5. reflect on historical and contemporary practices in theatre and film, their cultural relevance and ideological implications;

6. develop transferable skills and knowledge, applicable to the broader cultural industries;

7. Develop communication and presentation skills, useful for employment in broader professional sectors.

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on systematic understanding of the key aspects of the knowledge base of theatre and film, including a coherent and detailed knowledge of some specialist areas in depth.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

1. devise and sustain arguments, and/ or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of theatre and film studies and practice (CA 2, 4);

2. engage in and comment upon current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in theatre and film, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge (CA 2, 4);

3. create artistic work with awareness and technical competence (CA 2, 3, 4)

Cognitive Intellectual abilities

4. communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences (CA 4, 5, 6);

Transferable Skills

5. apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to initiate and carry out projects (CA1, 2, 3, 5);

6. manage their own learning through independent projects, practical theoretical (CA 1,2, 4, 7);

7. understand how the communication and presentation skills developed over the course can be applicable to other employment sectors too. (CA 1, 2, 4, 7)

Subject-Specific Practical Skills

8. deploy appropriate and established techniques of creative and professional practice within theatre and film (CA1,2).

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmark Statements:
Dance, Drama and Performance 2015
Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies 2017

Assessment strategy

The BA Theatre and Film course utilises a wide range of formative and summative assessment strategies that will give students the skills and knowledge to create and deliver theatre- and film-based cultural activity informed by theoretical awareness. Self-assessment and reflection are key factors in the process of learning and are part of the course’s assessment strategies.

Modes of assessment are integral to the teaching and learning process and vary accordingly. Much of the assessment is based on practical presentations, performances and video projects, students' reflections on their experience and knowledge of performance and film, either as practitioners, as members of audiences or as participants in exercises.

Coursework includes formal essays, portfolios and journals, creative writing, critical and creative activities, reviews, and assessed oral presentations and performances. These different forms of coursework assessment will be used to test a range of knowledge and understanding and take account of the suitability of assessment modes to a process- and practically-oriented course. In each module the mode of assessment is determined by the nature of the focus, whether practical, technical or theoretical, and based on the material studied and the approaches adopted in the teaching.

Formative assessment will include contribution to seminars and workshops, short exercises in class, presentations and essay plans. These will receive oral and written feedback during and between class sessions.

Summative assessments include academic essays, reflective logs/ journals, set presentations, group work, reviews, and portfolios of critical work.

Assessment strategies will take into account the student’s ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Work-related learning is embedded in the course both formally in SM6P10 Festival Showcase and throughout the course through live projects, industry visits, visiting speakers and events such as ‘Making a Living’ and ‘Celebration’ weeks.

With support from the Careers and Employability Office, students learn to present themselves and their work online and externally, developing and refining CVs, undertaking employment research, becoming aware of employment or external project opportunities, making approaches and applications, undertaking relevant practical work, obtaining feedback or appraisal and critically reflecting on the experience and learning.

A large majority of the tutors and lecturers on the course are practitioners and share their knowledge and experience with students throughout their course of study. The studio delivery of the course means that opportunities for work related learning through collaboration with external companies, agencies, institutions, competitions and professionals can be taken up as they arise, if appropriate to the programme of study.

Studios function as simulations of professional workplaces, with expectations of professional standards, conduct and delivery building as the students progress. During their final year, students are expected to work independently towards completion of professional portfolio of theatre and film projects, culminating in performance or exhibition of these in the annual summer show and associated events.

Additionally, students receive professional orientation training, including sessions with the Accelerator, to undertake career action planning.

Course specific regulations

Module Title Module Code Course Learning Outcome
Independent Project SM6P12 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Performance Research & Development SM6015 2, 4, 6
Festival Showcase SM6P10 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Collaborative Film Project SM6P11 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Installation and Site SM6068 CLO1, CLO7, CLO11
Writing for Performance SM6061 CLO1, CLO7, CLO11
Producing SM6066 CLO1, CLO7, CLO11
Directing 2 SM6056 CLO1, CLO7, CLO11

Level 6: to achieve an honours degree award on this course, students must have completed and passed each level 6 module at 40% or above.

Part-time study is defined as 60 credits per year. Consequently, in part-time mode, the duration of study for a 120-credit course will be 2 years. The pattern of study in this instance shall be as follows:

Year 1: SM6P11 Collaborative Film Project or SMP12 Independent Project, SM6056 Directing 2 or SM6068 Installation and Site (Autumn), SM6061 Writing for Theatre and Performance or SM6066 Producing (Spring)
Year 2: SM6015 Performance Research & Development, SM6P10 Festival Showcase

LEVEL 6 OPTIONS: Alternative Cores
Students at Level 6 will have the option to select between two thirty credit modules: Independent Project (30 weeks), and Collaborative Film Project (15 weeks). Students will be offered tutorial guidance on these options to highlight and ensure management of the modules’ differing timetabling and delivery structures.

Modules required for interim awards

To enter the course at Level 6 and achieve the award of BA (hons) Theatre and Film, the following modules must be completed and passed:

SM6015 Performance Research & Development
SM6P10 Festival Showcase
SM6P11 Collaborative Film Project (Alternative Core)
SM6P12 Independent Project (Alternative Core)
SM6056 Directing Two
SM6068 Installation and Site
SM6061 Writing for Performance
SM6066 Producing

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Reflective learning and personal development planning is a key strategy in this course.

Throughout their study, students will be expected to engage with practice and theory based material and activities and explore the relationship between them. Much of the work is project based in which they will actively construct their learning processes by establishing conceptual frameworks to then develop and continue into theatre performance and production with guidance and support from tutors. In many modules, project logs and reports form part of the assessment together with self- and peer-assessment. Students will be encouraged and required through assessment to reflect critically on their own work and that of others through presentation and group critique.

Being regularly engaged with industry professionals throughout their study, students will be expected to work to industry standards.

The School’s studio system of curriculum delivery embeds reflective learning and personal development planning throughout the course.

Most summative assessment is at the end of year-long modules, with several formative assessment points formally instituted over the course of the year. At these interim formative assessment and feedback points, students reflect on their progress to date with their peers and course staff (with the benefit of feedback from professional partners), seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. The feedback and student reflection are recorded and forms an action plan for the next period of study.

This system is highly individualised, but also benefits from peer engagement in studio critiques. The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Throughout the modules and the course therefore, in this way, students build bodies of work, including reflections on progress and achievement, and planning for their future achievement of targets.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

The creative arts industry employs around 700,000 people UK wide and contributes £24.8 billion to the UK economy each year’ with a lot of work within micro businesses or on a self-employed basis’.

A degree in theatre and film enables students to develop a wide range of transferable skills, including:

• confidence;
• self-presentation;
• teamwork and collaboration;
• time management and organisational skills;
• self-awareness;
• self-discipline;
• an open mind and the ability to move beyond boundaries and experiment with different ideas;
• communication skills;
• analytical, critical and research skills;
• the ability to cope with criticism and learn from it;
• stamina.

Graduates go on to a wide range of careers. As well as jobs within theatre, film, television and related creative industries (such as acting, directing, stage and event management, script writing and technical theatre, film-making and production) graduates may also take up careers in the following sectors:

• education;
• commercial and public sector management;
• community-based;
• marketing/ sales/ advertising;
• business/ financial.

Progression routes for postgraduate study:
• community performance/ theatre in education;
• performance/ theatre making;
• film-making;
• film and theatre journalism;
• workshop facilitation;
• arts policy making;
• arts administration/ marketing;
• cultural industries.

Career opportunities

This course focuses on producing versatile theatre and film professionals. Our graduates have been successful in the following areas: performing, writing, directing, producing, forming production companies, broadcasting, working on education and outreach programmes, and working in the broader cultural industries. Graduates have also continued with postgraduate study in the arts and culture.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have one of the following:

  • 240 credits from a relevant Higher National Diploma (HND), Foundation Degree (FdA/FdSc) or equivalent international qualification in a relevant subject
  • 240 credits from years 1 and 2 of an undergraduate degree (BA/BSc) in a relevant subject at a different institution
  • a portfolio interview

If you live in the UK you will be invited to a portfolio interview. If you live outside of the UK you will be asked to submit a portfolio via email.

Portfolios and interviews

Your portfolio should be selective, but have enough work to show a range of your interests and talents. We are interested in seeing how you develop a project from beginning to end, not only finished work.

If you cannot bring certain pieces of your work to your portfolio interview, please take photographs and include them.

Physical portfolio

If you are coming in person to your interview we strongly suggest bringing a physical portfolio of work.

Things to bring:

  • Sketchbooks – we love to see your sketchbooks with ideas and notes, even if they are messy.
  • Examples of the development of a project from start to finish and the final outcome.
  • Some work that you are really proud of and want to talk about.
  • Some work that shows you experimenting with different processes.

Digital portfolio

If you are submitting an online application, please follow these guidelines.

Things to include:

  • Scans or photographs demonstrating items from the list above.
  • Storyboarding for motion-based work.
  • Also include scans of sketchbook pages showing development.
  • Be sure to check the resolution and overall quality of your image to ensure submissions are not pixelated.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2019/20 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 30 May 2019 Last validation date 30 May 2019  
JACS codes 100069 (drama): 100%
Route code THTREF

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SM6015 Performance Research and Development Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
SM6P10 Festival Showcase Core 30 NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR WED PM
SM6P11 Collaborative Film Project Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT WED AM
          NORTH AUT WED PM
SM6P12 Independent Project Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR NA  
SM6056 Directing 2 Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
SM6061 Writing for Theatre and Performance Option 15 NORTH SPR TUE PM
SM6066 Producing Option 15 NORTH SPR THU PM
SM6068 Installation and Site Option 15 CITY AUT TUE AM